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Duel: Messerschmitt Me 262 vs. Gloster Meteor


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#11 GregP

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 07:29 AM

Hi Simon,

My statement about the Meteor goes along these lines.

If the Me-262 had been put into production in 1941, then daylight bombing of the third reich may have been proven very difficult if not impossible. In that case, the Germans would have retained a foothold in France and so would have had airfields on the west coast of France, putting them in a position to throw impressive air power at convoys approaching Great Britain.

In such case, the Whittle research may have been abandoned in favor of more conventional fighter and bomber protection.I do NOT say the end of the war would have changed, I am only speculating about "what ifs" regarding the Me-262.

I dispute that the engines weren't ready until 1944. They were almost no more reliable in 1944 than they were in 1941.

History is history and we KNOW what happened. This is all mere speculation, and I reserve the right to speculate as I see fit. I offer you the same privelidge ... so go ahead and speculate how my speculation could not have happened.

I say it COULD have, but didn't. Of course, Mars could ALSO have invaded Earth, but didn't.

#12 JoeB

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 11:53 PM

"BTW (off topic) RAAF Meteor ground attack aircraft had success(es) and few losses against MiG 15s in Korea."

"The Meteor used in Korea was hardly the same plane used in WWII. Nevertheless, while it had some success against the MiG-15 (so did the F-80 and F-84), it was more a target for the MiG than a hunter."

It is OT, developed versions of the end of WWII straight wings were considerably more capable (F-80C v. F-80A too), and the MiG-15 bore no resemblance in perforamce to any WWII a/c.

But FWIW I agree much more with the second statement. Trying to serve as air superiotity fighter 5 Meteors were downed by Soviet MiG-15's, in combats all recognizable in Soviet accounts (ie. against them not the Chinese); they claimed a lot more Meteors (as wont to do in all Korean combats) but no losses for them contrary to 2 claims by Meteors in those combats. Later when relegated to fighter bomber role a Meteor claimed a MiG in one engagement, and a Chinese account appears to admit the loss of two of their MiG's in the same combat. So 2:5 overall.

Some straight wings did better; The Panther did best with 5 (official claim and actual result though not the same 5) MiG kills by USN F9F's for 1 loss of a USMC F9F. F-80C's used as air superiority fighters v. MiG's (Nov '50 through March '51) downed 6-7 MiG's against 3-5 losses of their own (real kills of MiG's remarkably only 2 officially credited and one of those is wrong; 3-5 reflects one incident of safe F-80 return but written off and one thought lost to AAA but possibly corresponding to a MiG claim). Later the MiG's improved the score by occasionally picking off F-80's acting as fighter bombers.

Again FWIW in a small statitical sample with other differences (tactical situations, which specific MiG units, etc) an evolved Meteor seemed perhaps less able to deal with an aerodynamically overmatching plane than evolved versions of rough contemporaries.

Joe

#13 curmudgeon

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 01:24 PM

quote:Originally posted by GregP


My statement about the Meteor goes along these lines.

If the Me-262 had been put into production in 1941, then daylight bombing of the third reich may have been proven very difficult if not impossible. In that case, the Germans would have retained a foothold in France and so would have had airfields on the west coast of France, putting them in a position to throw impressive air power at convoys approaching Great Britain.

I dispute that the engines weren't ready until 1944. They were almost no more reliable in 1944 than they were in 1941.

History is history and we KNOW what happened. This is all mere speculation, and I reserve the right to speculate as I see fit. I offer you the same privelidge ... so go ahead and speculate how my speculation could not have happened.


well despite flying a prototype in July 1942, and a preproduction unit in very late '43 (normal delay for most WW II aircraft) the first production 262s weren't off the assembly lines until May '44. Even then the engines had a service life of 25 hours. A service life of 10 hours (the 1942 versions, hot off Junkers prototype line) just wasn't viable. The engines weren't available until mid 1944.

Pilot conversion was a problem. In late '44 Galland removed the 262s from combat to resume pilot training ...

The Meteor III (late '44) was closely comparable with the Temest V as a dogfighter (see http://www.faqs.org/...r/avmeteor.html), the only downside (heaviness of its ailerons) was a design feature to compensate for another perceived problem (to limit the pilots doing violent aerobatics with consequent strain on the wings). The Schwalbe had a dogfighting performance reminiscent of a brick, it also fell apart when hit. In Korea (I know OT ... I raised it) Meteors made it home about half the times they were hit by 23mm or 37mm cannon ... survivable.

Late design Meteor IIIs had their tailpipes lengthened to avoid compression buffet and their speed went up by 70-80 mph, well over the Schwalbe's top speed.

Me262 - very pretty, and the allies were lucky the Germans decided to build them. Having read up more on the topic I understand why the RAF Meteor pilots in north Europe wanted to scrap with 262s. With deeper insight I think the Meteor III would have won the majority of 'even' combats ...

#14 Lightning

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 09:31 PM

Hi curmudgeon,

My references give the MK III the advantage in ceiling and range while giving the advantage to the 262 in speed and climb:

Ceiling-
* Meteor MK III: 44,000 ft
* 262A-1a : 37,565 ft

Range-
* Meteor MK III: 1340 mi
* 262A-1a : 652 mi

Speed-
* Meteor MK III: 493 mph @ 30,000 ft
* 262A-1a : 540 mph @ 19,685 ft

Climb-
* Meteor MK III: 2155 ft/min
* 262a-1a : 3937 ft/min

How many Meteor MK IIIs had the tailpipe modification which you describe? Were there enough to be significant?

Also, much is made of the malfunctioning of the 262's guns, but the Meteor's guns gave much trouble as well. In early attempts to destroy V1 "Buzzbombs", Meteors lost valuable opportunities in this regard. In fact, on several occasions, the pilot had to resort to "tipping" the V1 over with his wingtip when his guns failed.

#15 Ricky

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 07:10 PM

Appearently Meteors in service with Israel (they got a few NF versions, though they were not in use for long) experienced much trouble with their cannons. I read an account of an Israeli pilot who shot down an Arab recon plane 'with one cannon, as the other(s?) had failed, again'.
Obviously, that is a paraphrase, from memory!


#16 PMN1

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 05:50 AM

quote:Originally posted by simon
[br Otherwise the US would have just increased the numbers of fighter escorts until the Luftwaffe interceptors were completely swamped. Something the US was capable of doing.


Have you read 'The Hitler Options' edited by Kenneth Macksey - this is exactly one of the options in this book.

It explores alternate decisions and their impacts on WW2.

Two other interesting books are 'Rising Sun Victorious' and 'Third Reich Victorious' edited by Peter G Tsouras

#17 PMN1

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 05:54 AM

I'm currently in the middle of reading 'Whittle - the true story' by John Golley and it does raise some interesting 'if onlys'.

Its currently 1938 in the book and our back isn't against the wall so we haven't given the crown jewels to our US cousins yet.

:)

#18 curmudgeon

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 07:14 AM

quote:Originally posted by Lightning

Hi curmudgeon,

My references give the MK III the advantage in ceiling and range while giving the advantage to the 262 in speed and climb:

....

How many Meteor MK IIIs had the tailpipe modification which you describe? Were there enough to be significant?

Also, much is made of the malfunctioning of the 262's guns, but the Meteor's guns gave much trouble as well. In early attempts to destroy V1 "Buzzbombs", Meteors lost valuable opportunities in this regard. In fact, on several occasions, the pilot had to resort to "tipping" the V1 over with his wingtip when his guns failed.


searched and searched ... the original web-based information said 'late in the production run' and something about retrofitting in the field. So numbers would be plastic (and there were only 2 trial squadrons in the field). I almost gave up and admitted to a post-war thing (the F. 4 prototypes had the feature), but then on paper Gunston stated this modification occurred 'late in the war'. This mod probably changed the RAF plan to use Vampires as their preferred fighter if the war had continued (Vampires were issued to a squadron in late April 45 after manufacture was farmed out to English Electric with consequent delays).

The Meteor Mk I had major problems with the cannon due to spent cases jamming the shutes, this was fixed for the Mk III.

Straight wings were slower, but were much better dogfighters, than swept wings. With 1st and 2nd generation jets the low engine acceleration meant speed was lost rapidly when manoeuvring began. Even 3rd generation combat occurred subsonic with power used to accelerate the beasts ... so we are moving into a narrow speed range with engine and aerodynamic acceleration balancing.

#19 GregP

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 10:32 AM

Interesting to speculate on 3rd-generation jet fighters. We now posess the capability to build fighters that won't bleed down to subsonic speeds while maneuvering, but we are also wanting stealth. Once you throw stealth into the fray, the aerodynamics goes to hell in a handbasket, and we're back to dogfighters at about mach 1 or so.

It will be interesting to see how the F-22 Raptor plays out when it becomes operational. Many Russian think the MiG 1.44 would give the Raptor a better-than-even fight, but I say the Raptor would sight the MiG 1.44 well before the MiG would sight the Raptor due to stealth, and the incomin missile from the Raptor would not have to dogfight.

Anyway, it would be very nice to argue 4th-generation jets, but this is a WWII forum. If not, I'd argue very hard for maintaining manned fighters augmented with UAVs.

Hey Taglia, how about operning a forum on aircraft in the Korean, vietnam, cold war, and new-generation stuff? I could argue the Korean war jets for hours! I love MiGs, having worked on several and taxied one around for over 30 minutes.

#20 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 10:47 PM

Thank you for the many answers, friends. It´s always good to see having created a topic that produces interest![^]
I would like to continue with a speculation why the Me 262 wasn´t produced again after WWII. Maybe the two-jet concept for fighter was only necessary as long as only not-too-powerful jets were available. After WWII, the situation changed. Better jet engines came up everywhere, and the flight characteristics could be improved significantly by moving the one and only engine towards the gravity center of the aiplane, into the fuselage. If so, it would also make the Meteor a fading concept as time goes by. Am I right?

But, the Me 262 over Korea would have been a nice sight! Only question is, on which side? Maybe on both?:)




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